Apple logo on belt
An attendee shows off his belt buckle outside Apple Inc.'s 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana are usually asked to do simple tasks like booking reservations, scheduling flights or finding easier traffic routes. But in today’s world, virtual assistants are used by men to fulfil certain sexual needs.

New studies show that virtual assistants are being used as vehicles for sexual communication by lonely male users supposedly seeking human affection. Ilya Eckstein, chief executive of Robin Labs, has revealed the findings.

Robin Labs has developed a virtual assistant aptly named Robin that actually competes with the likes of Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. He disclosed that Robin is being utilised for conversations reaching up to 300 per day by its male users, the majority of which are teens and truckers without female companions.

“This happens because people are lonely and bored. It is a symptom of our society,” Eckstein told The Times. “As well as the people who want to talk dirty, there are men who want a deeper sort of relationship or companionship.”

Eckstein estimates that about five percent of the total interactions the virtual assistant Robin draws are “clearly sexually explicit.” He even believes that a number of the users have erotic and sentimental feelings towards their gadgets.

This phenomenon is comparable to the story of the 2013 movie titled “Her,” which had Joaquin Phoenix playing a character who fell in love with a virtual assistant that was voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Eckstein said that some people go beyond flirting, and that these individuals crave for a submissive girlfriend, or worse, a sex slave. “It may just be more for laughs, or something deeper underneath the surface,” he added.

He further told Quartz that some men try very hard to establish relationships with the digital apps, moving stubbornly from one virtual assistant to another in hopes to spot the one that suits their needs.